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White House responds to Dover Sub-Committee Mortuary Report

Feb. 28, 2012 (9:40 p.m. EST)

WASHINGTON --  Reporters questioned Jay Carney about the Dover Port Mortuary Independent Review Subcommittee report released today indicating that improprieties included mishandling of 9/11 remains.

But the White House Press Secretary could not verify if President Barack Obama had been briefed on the findings.

Though he could not respond to questions during his daily afternoon press briefing, Carney released a statement at 8:30 p.m. this evening.

The statement read, “We are deeply concerned about reports that in 2001, some unidentified portions of remains from the 9/11 attacks were disposed of in a landfill, and about the unacceptable handling of remains at Dover. The President has

been briefed on the independent review of Dover Port Mortuary and strongly supports the Pentagon’s efforts to make needed systemic structural changes so that these types of incidents never happen again. The United States has a solemn obligation to compassionately and professionally care for fallen service members and their families, and those we tragically lost on 9/11.”

Prior to this statement, official response to the allegations of mishandling of remains at the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations (AFMAO) has come from the Secretary of the Air Force.

The Defense Health Board independent subcommittee chaired by Retired Gen. John P. Abizad made 20 recommendations; six addressing Command, Oversight, and Policy and fourteen addressing Operations and Workflow, both at the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES) and the AFMAO.

New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) brought many of the allegations of wrong doing at the AFMAO to light based on a complaint received from a constituent.

More details on this report will be available in the Feb. 29, 2012 print edition of the King George Journal.

Marty van Duyne

 

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